In the present study, bacterial strains were isolated from the soils of Wayanad District, Kerala, India and the isolates were tested for their tolerance to endosulfan and potential in bioremediation technology. Pesticide contamination in the soils, soil physico-chemical characteristics and socio-economic impacts of pesticide application were also analyzed. 28 pesticide compounds in the soil samples were analyzed and the results revealed that there was no pesticide residues in the soils. As per the survey conducted the pesticide application is very high in the study area and the level of awareness among the farmers was very poor regarding the method of application and its socio-economic and ecological impacts. A total of 9 bacterial strains were isolated with 50μg/ml of endosulfan in the isolating media and the results showed that most of the bacterial strains were highly resistance to endosulfan. Out of the 9 strains isolated 6 were highly resistant to endosulfan (500- 700μg/ml) and the other 3 isolates showed the resistance of 250-500μg/ml. From the studied isolate, isolate 9 demonstrating prolific growth and high resistance was selected to check their capability to degrade endosulfan over time. Identification of the selected strain reveals that it belongs to the genus Bacillus. Results of endosulfan removal studies showed that with increase in time, the biomass of the bacterial strains increased. The complete disappearance of endosulfan from the spiked and inoculated broth during the first day of incubation (24 hour interval) was observed. While the control flask showed the presence of endosulfan during the experimental period. Pesticide resistant bacteria are widely distributed in the soils of selected study area and the tolerance varied between bacteria even though they were isolated from the soils of the same area. The selected Bacillus species carry the ability to degrade endosulfan at accelerated rates and it could be useful in framing a bioremediation strategy for pesticide contaminated soil and water environments
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